Friends of Eddie Coyle, The (1973)

The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973), directed by Peter Yates.

Eddie has done a lot things, but right now he makes a small living as a middleman selling stolen guns to a crew of busy bank-robbers. Eddie is facing jail time, which is a problem: he has a wife and kids and can't do any more time. What to trade? Being a snitch is dangerous. Even worse is when your "friends" set you up to take a fall.

It's a small film with that 70s filmed-in-the-streets look. All locations, no studio or sets. The expert bank jobs are suitably tense but drama seems drained from the rest, making it more like real life.

The period tough talk among the younger people is a problem. Are you digging that, man?

Robert Mitchum was in the movies for 55 years. He was nominated for an Academy Award exactly once, for "Best Actor in a Supporting Role" in 1946. He didn't get it.

David Grusin provides a light funky score.

Criterion Blu-ray with a commentary track by the director. He says that of his own films this is among his three favorites, along with The Dresser and Breaking Away.

Among his mentors he mentions Tony Richardson, J. Lee Thompson, and Guy Hamilton.

Before accepting the role, Mitchum told him "You're not really going to film this, are you? The script is too good. You'll have to make it less realistic to satisfy the studio".

Mitchum also got Yates drunk to see how well he kept his head. Then accepted the job.

For technical advisers they had both former FBI agents and local "friends".